Travis Phelps, WSDOT communications, 206-715-9887 (Shoreline)
SEATTLE – A busy section of northbound Interstate 5 near downtown Seattle will be reduced to just two lanes over the next two weekends as contractor crews replace four 50-year-old expansion joints that span the width of the highway. Work starts Friday, March 29.
The Washington State Department of Transportation urges drivers to plan ahead when considering weekend travel. The heaviest traffic is expected midday Saturday and Sunday on northbound Interstates 5 and I-90 heading into Seattle, and on I-405 approaching I-90. WSDOT will keep the I-90 express lanes in the westbound direction all weekend to help improve traffic flow.
Crews plan to begin closing lanes on I-5 between South Albro Place and South Spokane Street at 8 p.m. each Friday and reopen all lanes by 5 a.m. each Monday.
This stretch of I-5 was constructed in 1965. Nearly 50 years of constant traffic has weakened the steel expansion joints connecting the concrete spans that make up the interstate as it curves through Seattle’s industrial area. The original joints are coming apart and pose a safety risk to drivers if they’re not replaced.
“These closures will cause significant backups on northbound I-5 south of downtown Seattle,” said project engineer Aleta Borschowa. “We need 60 percent of northbound I-5 drivers to take alternate routes over the weekend.”
Weekend lane closure details
Friday, March 29 – Monday, April 1
Friday, April 5 – Monday, April 8
Alternate routes for drivers traveling to Seattle via northbound I-5
Keeping traffic moving
WSDOT will do everything possible to keep traffic moving during the weekend lane closures:
Tools for drivers
The expansion joint replacement work is part of the $4.5 million I-5: Spokane Street Special Bridge Repair project.